Food Safety Facts
Food Safety for Camping and Hiking
By Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Extension professor, nutrition and food safety (Original title: Food Safety for Outdoor Enthusiasts)
Revised by Jason Bolton, assistant Extension professor
Camping and hiking are wonderful ways to experience the great outdoors and the beauty of nature. But getting sick from foodborne illness can really put a damper on your trip. Symptoms of foodborne illness can be mild, like an upset stomach. Or they can be serious, requiring an urgent visit to the hospital. The following information can help you avoid foodborne illness.
Pack Perishable Food Safely
There are dangers in preparing meats. Many types of meat can carry disease-causing bacteria. It is important to cook meat thoroughly to kill these bacteria. For example, chicken can be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause foodborne illness. Cook meat until it reaches a safe temperature. The best way to ensure this is to bring a meat thermometer.
|USDA temperature guidelines for properly cooked meat|
|Beef, veal, and lamb steaks and roasts||145F|
|Ground Meat (beef, veal, pork, sausages, and lamb)||160F|
|Chicken, turkey, duck (whole, pieces, and ground)||165F|
Make Your Water Safe
- Boiling: Bring the water to a rolling boil for one minute.
- Purification tablets: When added to water these will kill most bacteria, viruses, and parasites but not all. For instance they will not kill Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia (“beaver fever”), and larger bacteria. You can buy these tablets at most sporting goods-stores.
- Filtration: Choose a filter that removes bacteria and protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
Pack Nonperishable Foods
The following foods have a long shelf life and withstand temperature extremes. They are ideal foods for camping and hiking.
For more camping and hiking food-safety tips, see the USDA Safe Food Handling Fact Sheet, “Food Safety While Hiking, Camping & Boating.”
Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
© 2004, 2011
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Image Description: Youth seated beside mountain strem, drinking from water bottle; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA